Founded in 2006 by Laura Talsma, The User’s Advocate started out of passion for connecting the worlds of technology and product development and its future users globally. By doing quick feedback loops between development teams and groups of end users, promising technologies and business models are brought closer to successful deployment in the field.

OUr projects of the past years:

  • Setting up active user testing communities in the Netherlands, Kenya, Uganda, Angola, India, Colombia and Bangladesh
  • Issue scoping and market validation for five new products developed for Kenya and Ghana by Philips
  • Market/use validation for four clean technologies funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation: plasma gasification, biochar, biogas and nutrient recovery on South African, Indian, Kenyan and Ugandan markets
  • Organization of a co-creation workshop with developers and end users on designs for refugee camps
  • Organization of an entrepreneurship challenge for waste to profit technologies in Kisumu, Kenya
  • Household validation of waste collection services in Bangladesh, with value chain mapping and enterprise development
  • Initiation of two social enterprises in Angola and Kenya, incorporating microfranchise principles, on recycling plastics and access to clean cooking fuels
 

Founder

Laura Talsma is an impatient optimist – walking on the edge of technology, business, social science and design. Challenging the status quo with new systems, technology and products. Collaborating with pioneers of promising technology to succeed with the wisdom and insights of their future target market.
While working in Indonesia, the idea originated to connect worlds – of different cultures, but also the makers of new products and their end users. The result of it – The User’s Advocate – provides innovation consulting that speeds up the road to market.

The company aims to help commercialize innovations that are engines for society – providing positive impact while creating a profit. Working with a global network of designers, engineers, inventors and end users – TUA has successfully brought user testing and insights into the R&D of both startups and large enterprises.

With experience in East and Southern Africa, Angola, Europe, Indonesia, India, South Korea, Colombia, Brazil, and North America, Laura’s boots are in the mud where new innovations are about to change the world.
Current topics are subject to new designs:

What if providing sanitation services would become a profitable venture?

What if everyone could process waste plastics into building materials?

What if the use of clean fuel could be easier than charcoal?

Laura is an avid sailor, traveler, ice skater, hiker, happiest when joined by groups of free, inspiring thinkers from all over the world, or when challenged with a seemingly impossible, game changing business idea.